Bali police seized over 30 green turtles and arrested 7 people after they allegedly tried to smuggle them by boat.
According to police, the suspects captured the green sea turtles themselves and were planning to take them to Serangan Island in Denpasar, where they had planned on handing the reptiles over to a man identified as Muhayat for meat consumption.
“We cannot leave this matter alone because it can damage the ecosystem and the survival of protected species, this is why we made the arrests and detained the suspects,” Toni Ariadi Effendi, director of water police at the Bali Police, said yesterday.
The suspects were charged with articles from Indonesia’s conservation law, which carries a maximum sentence of one year imprisonment and a fine of US$3,456.
Police seized a total of 36 green sea turtles, which are now under the care of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) in Denpasar for the time being before they can be released back into the wild.
In July, a Jimbaran resident was also arrested in possession of 12 sea turtles he was processing for meat sales.
The green sea turtle is a protected species under a 1999 Government Regulation on preserving flora and fauna species. This species of large sea turtle is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.